When the subject of
child support is raised with a person going through a
divorce, he or she is sure to have an opinion. If you are the person who is going
to be on the hook for paying child support it is likely that you think
that the amount that you will have to pay is too much. That’s not
to say that you don’t think supporting your child is a good idea,
or that you don’t love your child. It’s just that being made
to pay money that goes directly to your ex spouse can cause some mixed
emotions about the subject.
On the other hand, if you are the parent who is set to receive child support
as a result of a divorce you likely think the guidelines set forth by
our State Legislature leave a lot to be desired. You’re losing an
entire income as a result of your divorce, and a smaller amount of support
from your ex spouse is supposed to make all that better? Has anyone taken
a look at what daycare costs nowadays?
Regardless of your perspective or position when it comes to child support,
there is information out there that we need to talk about. I’m not
here to sway your opinion on the subject, whatsoever. My goal today is
to present the facts and a little of my own personal experience with handling
child support matters for clients in
family law cases. You can form your own opinions based on that information.
What will you stand to receive (or pay) in child support as a result of
As I mentioned a moment ago, the
Texas Family Code has within it certain guideline amounts of child support that are to be
paid by one parent to the other for the purpose of helping to support
a child. The “net resources” of the paying parent are subject
to the following percentages when it comes to child support:
-20% of net resources for one child
-25% of net resources for two children
-30% of net resources for three children
-35% of net resources for four children
-40% of net resources for five children
If you are the parent of more than five children, you can expect to pay
no less than 40% but no more than 50% of your total net resources in monthly
child support. The most frequently used word from this past section was
“net resources”. What exactly does this term refer to?
Net Resources defined in regard to child support
Net resources, for the purposes of calculating a person’s child support
obligation, includes salary, overtime, tips, commissions, bonuses, self
employment income, retirement benefits and even unemployment benefits.
From these sources of income, social security taxes, federal income taxes
and health insurance costs for the child(ren) will be subtracted in order
to arrive at your net resources.
While I just laid out net resources as a concept in two sentences it is
important to note that the calculation of this figure can be a much debated
component of your divorce. This is especially true if either you or your
spouse (whichever will be responsible for paying child support) has multiple
sources of income. In this case, it is critical to have an attorney who
is experienced in helping clients calculate child support based on multiple
sources of income. Whether you are attempting to increase or decrease
a child support figure, having an attorney to assist can make a huge difference for you.
How is child support paid?
Wage withholding orders are typically filed along with the other “Closing” documents
to your divorce. This wage withholding order identifies you as the paying
parent responsible for child support and is sent to the court for the
judge’s signature. Once received it will be forwarded to your employer
and the amount of child support that you owe will be deducted on either
a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
This is a good thing for both the paying spouse and the receiving spouse.
The paying spouse does not have to worry about falling behind (supposing
that you maintain employment) in paying child support. It’s one
less thing to have to think about, basically. If your child’s other
parent has a problem with the amount of child support that has been paid
all you have to do is point to the ledger maintained by the Attorney General’s
Office. The truth is in black and white. Instead of having to make payments
directly to your ex spouse your payments will filter through the Child
Support Disbursement Office for the Attorney General.
If you are the parent who receives child support, a wage withholding order
keeps you from having to directly ask your ex-spouse for child support
each month. Furthermore, you will not be receiving partial or missed payments
with an order in place. It is completely out of your spouse’s hands
assuming that he or she maintains employment at the employer who holds
the wage withholding order.
Likewise, if you have to take your ex-spouse back to court for an
enforcement hearing regarding missed child support payments, all you and your attorney
would have to do is access your child support payment records online and
see just how far behind your ex spouse is. These causes of action are
fairly straightforward as far as enforcement cases are concerned and the
wage withholding order assists a great deal in this regard.
Questions regarding child support? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today
It is understandable to have questions regarding an important and complex
subject like child support. If you find yourself wanting more information
about child support please do not hesitate to
Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. One our licensed family law attorneys is available six days a week
to meet with you in a free of charge consultation. We can answer your
questions and provide you with information about the services that our
office can provide you with as a client of ours.